Bluster’s Milestones

A simple project always looks more daunting after one lists its detailed milestones! There are 13 weekends left to finish the 38 remaining milestones.

Last update: May 26, 2018.

Anemometer

I’m using a modified Adafruit Anemometer to sense the wind speed. The “zero-MPH” value of the original anemometer’s output signal depends on the resting position of the rotor. This problem affects the totalizer, which integrates the speed to get the length of the passing air column. So instead of risking the totalizer erroneously reporting air movement when there is none, I opened the anemometer’s case, discarded the existing electronics, and installed custom electronics that merely report the rotor’s position. The totalizer now records actual air movement. I just need to replace the existing 3-conductor cable with a 4-conductor cable.

☒ Design PCB
☒ Order parts
☒ Solder PCB
☒ Order 4-conductor cable
☐ Rewire with 4-conductor cable

Anemometer Interface

The original Anemometer Interface accepted a single analog signal from an unmodified Adafruit anemometer. It used all of the GPIOs of an Adafruit Trinket 5V. Since the new anemometer interface requires an extra input, I redesigned the Anemometer Interface and upgraded its microcontroller to an Adafruit Pro Trinket 5V. I’m going to prototype the new circuit using a solderless breadboard before sending the new PCB out to fabrication.

☒ Design PCB
☐ Test prototype
☐ Order parts
☐ Solder PCB
☒ Initial program
☐ Final program
☐ Final assembly

Lamppost Globe

The globe of the lamppost is a large, translucent piece of rotation-molded plastic that is secured to the top of the lamppost using four screws along the globe’s base. Aluminum tubing that supports the Anemometer pokes through a hole at the top of the globe. To prevent water intrusion, the gap between the tubing and the hole is sealed with a large grommet. The Anemometer Interface, which also controls the globe’s illumination, is attached to the aluminum tubing inside the globe. An RGB LED strip winds around the portion of the aluminum tubing inside the globe.

☒ Design
☒ Order parts
☐ Assemble (anemometer + anemometer interface + globe)

Bargraph PCB

The Bargraph PCB supports 405 red LEDs which are grouped into 81 individually controlled segments. The microcontroller on the PCB measures the signal from the Anamometer Interface to determine the speed of the wind. Each segment of the bargraph represents ½ MPH, with speeds 0 MPH to 40 MPH represented by a bargraph that starts on the left and extends to the right. The bargraph shows speeds from 40½ MPH to 80 MPH using a bargraph that starts on the right and extends to the left.

☒ Design
☒ Order parts
☒ Solder
☒ Initial program
☐ Final program

Totalizer PCB

The Totalizer PCB supports 261 red LEDs which are grouped into 53 individually controlled segments. The microcontroller on the PCB responds to transitions in the signal from the Anemometer Interface to count the length of the passing column of air, in feet. The original totalizer was assembled using amber LEDS, but since then I’ve chosen red as the Bluster’s primary color. So I will assemble the second totalizer PCB using red LEDs.

☒ Design
☒ Test prototype
☒ Order parts
☐ Solder
☒ Initial program
☐ Final program

Display’s Front Panel

Bluster’s front panel sandwiches a piece of printed, transluscent Satin Cloth between a pair of acrylic panels. The innermost panel has two large openings so that the LEDs of the Bargraph PCB and the Totalizer PCB will contact the satin cloth. I have a mockup of the print in AutoCAD, but I need to transfer it to Adobe Illustrator to make a digital file for printing.

☒ Design
☐ Order print
☐ Obtain acrylic
☐ Fabricate acrylic

Display’s Enclosure

The Display’s Enclosure will be created from welded 18-gauge sheet steel. It will be finished using automotive primer and paint from 66 Auto Color

☐ Design
☐ Weld
☐ Sand
☐ Prime
☐ Basecoat
☐ Topcoat
☐ Assemble (bargraph PCB + totalizer PCB + front panel + enclosure)

Scrollwork

Scrolls for decoration will be purchased premade (example, example). I chose this style because its tight spirals remind me of wind vortices.

☒ Obtain samples
☐ Design
☐ Order parts
☐ Weld
☐ Prime
☐ Basecoat
☐ Topcoat
☐ Install on enclosure

Battery #1

Each 48-volt battery will be assembled from 18650-size lithium-ion cells. The battery includes a battery manager to ensure that the cells are neither overcharged nor undercharged.

☒ Order parts
☐ Assemble

Battery #2

This second battery lets me charge one battery while the project remains powered by the other.

☐ Order parts
☐ Assemble

Lamppost

This lamppost is a large aluminum casting. I will prime it and paint it using automotive primer, basecoat, and topcoat from 66 Auto Color

☒ Order parts
☒ Build transport base
☐ Test finish
☐ Sand
☐ Prime
☐ Basecoat
☐ Topcoat
☐ Assemble and wire

Hinged Base

Creating a custom hinged base will ensure that the lamppost can be raised and lowered in a controlled manner.

☒ Design
☒ Obtain steel plate
☒ Obtain hinges
☐ Weld

Bearing Plate

I’m reusing the Bearing Plate from Miles. The only fabrication needed is to create large holes in the corners for the four holddown stakes and to drill two smaller holes for bolting on the Hinged Base.

☒ Design
☒ Obtain steel plate
☐ Weld